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Six on course for scheme to house Mary Rose

Six firms have set a course for the £15 million contract to build a new museum to house Henry VIII’s famous warship Mary Rose in Portsmouth.

It is understood that ISG, Vinci and Bouygues-owned south coast firm Warings have all been invited to tender for the 18-month job at the city’s HM Naval Base.

Bam Construction, Bovis and Northern Irish firm Patton are also thought to be left in the running for the contract, which will see a boat-shaped building positioned over the dry dock in which the Mary Rose sits as its hull undergoes conservation work.

The building will also contain thousands of artefacts discovered with the ship.

Work to be carried out includes constructing the building’s frame and envelope, as well as the services installations and the interior fitting out. The contractor may also have to carry out some design work.

Warings is currently preparing the foundations for the £35m project, and began demolition of the existing Mary Rose Ship Hall in December.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2012 but no award date has been set by the Mary Rose Trust.

There is also an option in the contract for further works to be carried out in 2016. The Mary Rose, built in Portsmouth in the early 16th century, was one of the earliest purpose-built warships to serve in the Royal Navy.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £21m of funding for the project.